What Is Pawn Promotion? | Chess

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Okay, hi, I’m David Sullivan from Chess NYC. Today, I wanna talk about pawns and pawn promotion. At the beginning of a game of chess, we have to bring out our pawns in order to free our pieces, but at the end of the game, we want to promote our pawns so that we can have extra material. Let’s say we reached a position like this, white has a rook and an extra pawn.

The pawn is only one square away from getting to the end of the board. When a pawn gets to the end of the board, it promotes. It becomes a more powerful piece than a pawn. It can become anything other than another pawn, it has to become something other than a pawn, or a king. There can only be one boss on the board at any one time.
Most of the time, pawns promote to the queen, which is the most powerful piece. In this position, if white advances the pawn and promotes it to a queen, the queen will be attacking the king. That’ll be a check. The king cannot go four squares and capture the queen. There’s nobody that can block and the rook prevents the king from escaping, so this would be an example of pawn promoting leading to checkmate.

There are times, though, that you might wanna promote the pawn and make something other than a queen. For instance, here, white has a king and two pawns, black has a king and a queen. The king and the queen are usually much more powerful than the king and the two pawns and if it was black’s turn to play, black would just take this pawn and eventually, the king and the queen would beat the king and the pawn. But if it’s white’s turn to play here, he can win by using something called under-promoting.

Now, most people would advance the pawn and promote to a queen in this situation ’cause the queen is the most powerful piece, but here, black would then be able to bring his own queen down to C1 and say checkmate to white. So, promoting to a queen would not actually help white. But if white, in this position, promoted to something less than a queen, in this case, a knight, the knight would be forking, attacking both the king and the queen at the same time, the king would move, the knight gets the queen check, the king can attack the knight, the knight escapes, but eventually, the king, the knight and the pawn will defeat the king. The king, the knight and the pawn will work together to eventually turn this guy into a queen and then, the king the queen and the knight will eventually checkmate black. And I hope you now understand pawn promotion.


  1. If queen is promoted once does it limit underpromotion in the future?

  2. Can we have more than 2 queens at a time ?

  3. I’m gonna rekt my family with this move

  4. Wow thanks for explaining this simple concept so well! I think that if there was a video series detaling the basics of chess this wu

  5. How do you keep track of multiple pawns that queen? Since you only have 1 queen where do you get other queens from? Do you just remember that the pawn is a queen or what? Does this make sense?

  6. For anyone wondering: yes you can have 2 queens on your board if you wish to promote your pawn to a queen.

  7. Big question. If I were to lose my black bishop and my pawn lands on a white feild can I promote my pawn to a secondary white Bishop or do I have to select another peice?

  8. My Friend told me that if pawn reached to bishop square then he can only promoted to beshop and of night square then only to knight, is it true

  9. Don't you get a piece back after getting a pawn to the other side?

  10. There is no reason at all to promote to bishop or rook right? Since a queen is strictly better. And yeah, rarely a knight gonna be better, but super situational.

  11. What do you actually do to convert a white pawn to a queen tho if there’s already a white queen on the table 🙄 How does the other player know what you switched it to be? Do you get a sharpie and write Q on it or what?

  12. Plz can solve my doubt that can we promote pawn to queen if we have a queen already

  13. After promotion, whose move is the next.?

  14. I just lost bc I did not know u could get more queens 🤬

  15. What if my pawn succeeded promotion but there are no pieces of the board except pawns??? Then what???

  16. That's a really nice point about underpromoting. I didn't know that before. I'd always pick the queen because she's the most powerful. But that was smart. There's always something to learn. Even when you think it's so simple and you already know it.

  17. wtf is this after concepts like tempo??? explain all the rules first

  18. Me: "Promotes my pawn"

    Piano starts playing

    My Pawn now a queen: Korega Requiem da

    The king: NANI!!!

  19. When our Queen still alive, and our pawn reach the other end.

    Can we promote it to a Queen as well ? Such we have 2 Queens ? Or only limited to promoting defeated pieces ?

    This was an argument between me and some friends.

  20. This position has never happened to me and I hope it does one day

  21. So an accurate chess set should have 16 pawns, 20 knights, 20 bishops, 20 rooks and 18 queens.

  22. What if I already have a Queen on the board and pawn promote to another Queen? Can I even do that? Or does it have to be something that’s off the board?

  23. I remember the days where when you still had your queen on the board and you had to use an upside down rook

  24. Can king moves one step without getting check threat.

  25. Relax. You’re dropping the chess pieces 😕

  26. 2:11 to win white must not only capture the queen but also attack a critical square with the knight, (in that video the critical square would be c7,) so when the pawn is two moves from promoting and the king is on b8 or a8 The knight can force the king out the corner by threatening a mate if he doesn’t let the pawn queen.
    So if the king is on b8 with white to move or a8 with it being his move then a7+ forces black to move to c8 to let the pawn queen or get checkmated with Nc7#

  27. The pawn is moved to the next court and Is the pawn replaced with any other piece or only queen or knight??????

    Plsss plss plss tell me the answer fast pls

  28. My whole life I've wondered why you wouldn't always promote to queen.

  29. David Sullivan : hi I’m David Sullivan
    Me : I have a teacher named Mrs Sullivan at school

  30. Something no one ask is:
    what is the protocol for telling the other player which is the new piece being placed for the pawn ?
    Recently I forgot to tell the other player and he claimed I did not tell so he “assumed” I pick a rock ( ? Who will pick something less than a Queen). I told him he lack courtesy.

  31. How do u write pawn pomoted to queen in chess lang?

  32. Have to make a chess game and need to know this lol

  33. That's what I call the "Pack-a-Punch" of chess

  34. thanks ya fumbling bumbling genius! 🙂 Chess just got that much better!

  35. one does not walk a pawn across the board and promote it to Queen. the Pawn must Drag to the opponents baseline to become a Queen.

  36. can a1 pawn promote in a different lane other me than a8?

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